How the IBM-GLOBALFOUNDRIES Agreement Supports OpenPOWER’s Efforts


By Brad McCredie, President of OpenPOWER and IBM Fellow and Vice President of Power Development

On Monday IBM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced that they had signed a Definitive Agreement under which GLOBALFOUNDRIES plans to acquire IBM’s global commercial semiconductor technology business, including intellectual property, world-class technologists and technologies related to IBM Microelectronics, subject to completion of applicable regulatory reviews. From my perspective as both OpenPOWER Foundation President and IBM’s Vice President of Power Development, I’d like to share my thoughts with the extended OpenPOWER community on how this Agreement supports our collective efforts.

This Agreement, once closed, will enhance the growing OpenPOWER ecosystem consisting of both IBM and non-IBM branded POWER-based offerings. While of course our OpenPOWER partners retain an open choice of semiconductor manufacturing partners, IBM’s manufacturing base for our products will be built on a much larger capacity fab that should advantage potential customers.

IBM’s sharpened focus on fundamental semiconductor research, advanced design and development will lead to increased innovation that will benefit all OpenPOWER Foundation members. IBM will extend its global semiconductor research and design to advance differentiated systems leadership and innovation for a wide range of products including POWER based OpenPOWER offerings from our members. IBM continues its previously announced $3 billion investment over five years for semiconductor technology research to lead in the next generation of computing.

IBM remains committed to an extension of the open ecosystem using the POWER architecture; this Agreement does not alter IBM’s commitment to the OpenPOWER Foundation. This announcement is consistent with the goals of the OpenPOWER Foundation to enable systems developers to create more powerful, scalable and energy-efficient technology for next-generation data centers. The full stack — beginning at the chip and moving all the way to middleware software — will drive systems value in the future. IBM and the members of the OpenPOWER Foundation will continue to lead the challenge to extend the promise that Moore’s Law could not fulfill, offering end-to-end systems innovation through our robust collaboration model.

Today’s Agreement reaffirms IBM’s commitment to move towards world-class systems — both those offered by IBM and those built by our OpenPOWER partners that leverage POWER’s open architecture — that can handle the demands of new workloads and the unprecedented amount of data being generated. I look forward to our continued work together, as IBM extends its semiconductor research and design capabilities for open innovation for cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and secure transaction-optimized systems.